Tuesday, 31 August 2010

KP: Naturally disappointed

"It's a fuck up..."

"While I'm naturally disappointed to have been omitted from the England squad I fully understand the reasons why..."

Between those two sentences, both attributed to Kevin Pietersen, lies the work of the ECB media relations department. Say what you like about the rest of the ECB, those media relations boys know their gig. Into their cavernous depersonalisation machine goes the phrase 'it's a fuck up...'. At the other end emerges, 'I am naturally disappointed...'

KP's true feelings do not expose the media department. Their many hundreds of press releases per season contain not one word that could actually have been uttered by a genuine human being, let alone a professional cricketer. But they do reveal a rare bad day for Andy Flower, Geoff Miller and the selectors. The thinking behind Pietersen's exclusion is sound. He will go to Surrey and have the chance of a couple of first-class games and the opportunity to bat for a long time, probably with Mark Ramprakash. It will do him more good than reverting to slog mode for a couple of T20s and the ridiculous number of ODIs [Five? Do we really need five?] that will be now be played out by one side that's suspicious of the other and one side that will be absolutely shattered whatever happens.

Yet before this morning ['what a fuck up'], they obviously hadn't sat down and explained it to him. Pietersen is a sensitive man, low on confidence. He needs to be handled gently, and you would have expected Flower, if not Miller, to have realised that.

A poor day for the selectors was rounded out by the choice of Steve Davies, re-opening the ODI wicketkeeper debate for the 3,708th time [note to subs: check precise figure with ECB media dept.] There is a consistency of selection in the Test side that is lacking here. What exactly did Kieswetter do wrong, except suffer a small dip after the World Cup win? It's a question he's entitled to ask, and Miller should be expected to answer, ideally without passing his comments through the media department first.


Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

Got to say I'm a bit pissed off about the way this has been handled. Did they not realize that handling Pietersen needs to be done with a bit more care and attention.

I don't think it's an understatement to say the Ashes could depend on this, I bet the Aussies are laughing their heads off tonight.

It clearly looks like the message KP got this morning was 'you're dropped'. KP hits back, and then someone realizes that 'Oh, maybe we have done something wrong here'. So they then tell him their plans that they want him to play county cricket instead.

In isolation this decision isn't that bad a one, I did think during the 4th test, if they could find a county prepared to take him, that he should go.

But I also think that it is strange that he gets dropped and someone who has had as bad a home series (yet again), and played as little county cricket as Paul Collingwood has, gets treated totally differently?

KP scored more runs than him in the test series. I know Colly is T20 captain and obviously can't be dropped from that side. But why isn't he being dispatched back to Durham in such a ruthless manner to play some 1st class cricket instead of playing the 5 ODI's?

The selectors have stuck by him and Cook a hell of a lot, and I do think that while Pietersen stews this over in his mind it could have a further negative effect on him.

I can well understand KP being pissed off, and how many other nations would treat one of their best players like this?

Anonymous said...

It was time for Pietersen to be dropped. Strauss was not so long ago and it clearly helped him.

England need KP to produce runs in a test matches and not just slog. It is an excellent idea to let him bat for as long as possible in what must be an easier environment at Surrey. It might also concentrate his mind.

As for Kieswetter I don't think he is as talented as Stephen Davies in either department.